Proposed Amendments to Cannabis Retail Regulations

PASADENA, Calif.—On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the Planning Commission will consider amendments to the City’s existing cannabis business regulations to allow all six of the top-scoring applicants the opportunity to establish retail dispensaries at locations that comply with all state-mandated requirements while maintaining and preserving the buffers from sensitive uses as approved by Pasadena’s voters.

“I have initiated a process for the Planning Commission and the City Council to consider a change to local law that would allow the six highest-rated cannabis applicants to seek to locate on the sites that they have identified. Under the present regulations, only four of the top candidates would be able to open for business instead of the up to six approved by voters. If the Planning Commission and the City Council decide to modify existing regulations, there is likely ample space in the city to accommodate all six of the retailers that scored highest in the City’s application process. This is a fair and equitable solution to the lack of suitable space under present regulations while preserving all of the protections for neighborhoods and sensitive uses,” says City Manager Steve Mermell.

The amendments, if approved, would modify the location requirements set forth in Section 17.50.066 of the Zoning Code and other applicable sections, in order to allow up to three cannabis retailers per council district and to decrease the minimum distance between cannabis retailers from 1,000 feet to 450 feet. These code amendments will not increase the overall maximum number of allowed dispensaries or change any of the separation requirements from sensitive uses.

The Planning Commission will forward its recommendation on the proposed amendments to the City Council, and the City Council will make a final decision on the proposed amendment at a separately-noticed public hearing.

“The voters approved regulations that allow up to six cannabis retailers to locate in Pasadena in a manner which protects residential areas and sensitive uses such as churches and schools. This proposed amendment allows the City to do just that,” says Mermell.